Games for Entertainment
and Learning Lab
The mission of the Games for Entertainment and Learning (GEL) Lab at Michigan State University is to design innovative prototypes, techniques, and complete games for entertainment and learning and to advance state of the art knowledge about social and individual effects of digital games. The GEL Lab is an association of game faculty, primarily in the College of Communication Arts and Sciences. The lab focuses on externally funded research and development work and employs graduate and undergraduate students.
The GEL Lab has experience developing for virtual reality, mobile, home computer, arcade, and web based games. As a primarily grant funded lab, our games are based on all sorts of subjects and themes, including financial literacy, health, exercise, nuclear science, and naturally, pirates to name just a few!
The GEL is a special place, staffed by the best and brightest students in the game design and development program at MSU (typically during their final year before graduation). Each year the lab employed over 15 undergraduate and graduate students, giving them their first opportunity in the game design industry.
The Games for Entertainment and Learning (GEL) Lab at Michigan State University was established in 2005 with the mission to design innovative prototypes, techniques, and complete games for entertainment and learning and to advance state of the art knowledge about social and individual effects of digital games.
The game research and design faculty and students in the GEL Lab have established Michigan State University as a site for important research on “games and meaningful play”. The GEL Lab has created and researched over 30 games with funding from the National Science Foundation, NASA, the National Institute of Health, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, MSU Federal Credit Union, Ford Motor Company Fund, and more. GEL faculty has produced games that appear in industry events, such as the Independent Games Festival, IndieCade, SXSW, and PAX and academic juried events, such as the Foundation of Digital Games, Meaningful Play, and DIGRA, and are active scholars typically publishing their work in peer-reviewed journals and edited book chapters.
The GEL Lab is physically located in the College of Communications Arts & Sciences at Michigan State University. The lab contains a collection of high-end game development workstations, game and virtual reality hardware, and game development software.
The GEL Lab is part of a larger GameDev@MSU effort that involves research, outreach, and teaching. The undergraduate program in game design has ranked in the top ten in North America since 2012 by the Princeton Review and have produced over 400 graduates since 2005.